A FORMER BBC reporter appeared in court yesterday accused of sexually abusing two boys under the age of 14, spanning a decade.

Clifford Luton, 88, who has been charged with three indecent assault charges between January 1971 and January 1981, arrived at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court in a wheelchair.

The alleged sex attacks in Poole, Ealing and Essex involve two young victims who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Luton from Ashley Road in Parkstone, Poole, is also charged with 30 offences of possessing an indecent image of a child, including photographs in the most serious grade five category, at his home in April last year.

Represented by Mark Price, he did not enter any pleas and was granted unconditional bail. Magistrates have already rejected jurisdiction and the case was committed to Bournemouth Crown Court on June 24.

Luton worked for the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s reporting on major issues including The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Cod Wars with Iceland, the attempted kidnapping of Princess Anne and the Lebanese Civil War.

In 1967 he chartered a plane to search for round-the-world sailor Francis Chichester who had gone missing in a storm around Cape Horn.

While working for the Daily Mail Luton interviewed famous historian David Irving in the 1950s.

During yesterday’s brief court appearance, Luton spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, using a hearing aid to follow proceedings.